Get Glowing Soft Skin
Do you want to know a secret weapon to keep your skin naturally glowing, soft, and healthy all year long? It is easier and simpler than you think! The answer is Exfoliation.
When you look in the mirror, do you notice your complexion has become dull and almost lifeless? Has your skin gone from bright and radiant to “blah” with the changing of the seasons?
As the weather gets colder, you may even notice that your skin starts to flake and become dry, no matter how much cream or oil you put on it ( For how to remedy that check out this post on dehydrated skin for more information). During the winter season it can be particularly hard to maintain a radiant, glowing complexion due to the lack of moisture in the air.
You have a glowing personality- so, why not glow from the inside out?
From products, to clever techniques and lifestyle changes, we have the tips to help you glow all year long. Keep reading to learn how to look like a radiant goddess.
What is Exfoliating?
Exfoliating is one of the best ways to keep your skin glowing and youthful.
But what really is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. The dead skin cells are what cause your complexion to appear dull, feel rough, and cause flaking.
Once dead skin cells are removed, new skin cells can be produced. Just removing the dead skin cells provide immediate results, revealing a more glowy complexion and softer skin.
Exfoliation also helps your skincare products to penetrate your skin better. This allows you to get the most out of your routine and to see better, faster results from the products that you use.
Need another reason to exfoliate? It helps keep away and remove ingrown hairs. If you exfoliate your body before and after you shave, those pesky hairs won’t go into hiding under skin.
How Do You Exfoliate?
There are many different ways to exfoliate, but they are split into two categories , physical and chemical exfoliation.
Physical exfoliation is a technique that uses a tool or coarse substance to remove the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin.
This is a great way to temporarily reduce the size of pores and treat blackheads.
Those with sensitive skin may want to avoid physical exfoliation as some forms can be too harsh for your skin type. Not to worry, you can always try the other type of exfoliation.
Chemical exfoliation uses, you guessed it, chemicals to exfoliate the skin.
Usually it is acids that are used to remove dead skin such as alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids. The most common examples of these acids include glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
Chemical exfoliants are often more gentle than physical exfoliants, but there are intense chemical treatments that can be performed in a dermatologist’s office. This type of exfoliation is also able to penetrate the skin deeper, activating faster cell turnover.
Those that are prone to breakouts will benefit from products that contain salicylic acid, as it helps to control oil and pimples.
Which Type of Exfoliation is for me?
When choosing what type of exfoliating product and technique is right for you, it is important to consider:
- What is your skin type?
- What are you planning to exfoliate? (Your face or your body)
- What is your price range?
For the body, I personally love to physically exfoliate. My favorite way to do this is the cult classic technique known as dry brushing. Dry brushing has many benefits that lead to beautiful, glowing skin.
Dry brushing helps your skin to feel softer and appear more radiant. This process aids in detoxification. Dry brushing stimulates lymphatic drainage, which is responsible for collecting and transporting waste from the blood.
Circulation is also increased when dry brushing is added to your routine, which can help reduce cellulite.
So, how do you dry brush? It is best to dry brush in the morning, as it is thought to help energize you. When dry brushing, work from your feet and move upward in circular motions using firm, yet gentle strokes.
Personally, I like to dry brush before I shower in the morning. It adds a little boost to my routine.
Dry brushing can also be used with body oil after you have showered. I love this method when showering at night to really let the body oil soak in overnight.
This is a great brush to get you started dry brushing.
Another great way to exfoliate the body is with an in shower body scrub. There are many different types of body scrubs.
To really get the most benefits go for a product that is just a scrub, not a scrub body wash combo.
When choosing between a salt or sugar scrub, keep in mind that salt scrubs are usually more abrasive and can sting if you are shaving or have sensitive skin.
Body scrubs that use coffee are wonderful for the skin, especially if you take your showers in the morning. These types of exfoliators can be very invigorating. My favorite coffee scrub is this one from frank body that smells like peppermint. Did you know coffee scrubs can also help to reduce cellulite?
I would recommend a sugar scrub that gently, yet effectively, exfoliates your body and smells delicious. My favorite? This moisturizing scrub with a light scent of coconut and rose from Herbivore. It also has no artificial ingredients!
Using an exfoliating glove is so easy and fast. It is a great way to add body exfoliating to your shower routine without really thinking.
If you aren’t familiar with an exfoliating glove, it is essentially a glove that you wear in the shower that feels slightly abrasive. When you are in the shower you put your shower gel on it and gently rub it over your body. (I like to do one round of normal washing with my loofah and then one round of exfoliating and another round with my loofah, just so any dead skin is gone.)
Here is a pair of exfoliating gloves that you could try. This one is a pack of four so you could rotate them and replace them as they become worn. I have washed mine in the laundry a few times to keep them clean.
Electronic Facial Exfoliating Tools
There are many different exfoliating tools that you can use to physically exfoliate your face. By using these brushes it is easy to keep your face glowing and bright.
The beauty of these tools is that they cleanse and exfoliate at the same time. Depending on the brush, gentle daily exfoliation can be achieved, or they can be used for once a week deep exfoliation.
There are two popular types of physical exfoliation facial brushes. One is made of silicone and the other uses bristles for exfoliation and cleansing.
The silicone facial tool is great for exfoliation because it has four different speeds. This allows you to tailor your exfoliation experience for your skin type.
Using a bristle brush, such as a Clarisonic or this one, also allow you to have control of your exfoliation. These electronic tools often come with multiple brushes and come with different settings, which gives you more options.
One of the downfalls to bristle exfoliation and facial cleansing is that bacteria builds on the brush heads. This means they have to be disposed of every three months.
PRO TIP: Do not use too much pressure when dry brushing. Avoid nutshells or fruit pits in body or face scrubs.Too much exfoliation or exfoliating incorrectly can cause damage to your skin such as dehydration, redness, and/or premature aging.
Facial scrubs and body scrubs usually differ in the intensity of exfoliation but both can be separated into the categories of chemical and physical.
There are many different physical facial scrubs on the market. An “old school” favorite is the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. This scrub uses apricot, corn kernels, and walnut shells to naturally remove dirt and oil from the skin.
My favorite facial exfoliating product utilizes physical and chemical exfoliants.
ExfoliKate by Kate Sommerville naturally polishes skin without taking away moisture. This makes it perfect to use year round. The lactic enzymes from fruits, such as papaya and pineapple help to reveal a brighter and more youthful complexion. After each use of this product I feel like I have been to the spa. It is the perfect at home treatment!
Would you prefer a chemical exfoliant? This one from Moon Juice uses a five acid complex, featuring glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid to gently exfoliate skin. All skin types, even those with sensitive skin will love the Beauty Shroom Exfoliating Acid Potion. This formula is so gentle it can be used daily.
Don’t Forget the Lips
We can’t forget exfoliating the lips. The Sugar Lip Polish from Fresh is a great lip scrub to remove dead skin from your precious pout.
These scrubs are also great for giving your lips a plumped effect. Just make sure to apply a moisturizing lip balm after you have removed the exfoliator to help keep the dead your lips smooth.
Now that you know how to exfoliate, it is time to show off your glowy skin. Don’t forget to finish with your favorite moisturizer to make your skin really pop.
Do you have any other exfoliating secrets? Let us know below!